Assurance of Divine Help
November 29, 2017
34th Week in
1st Reading: Dn 5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28
Gospel: Luke 21:12-19
Jesus said to his disciples, “People will lay their hands on you and persecute you; you will be delivered to the Jewish courts and put in prison, and for my sake you will be brought before kings and governors. This will be your opportunity to bear witness.
“So keep this in mind: do not worry in advance about what to answer, for I will give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.
“You will be betrayed even by parents, and brothers, by relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. But even though you are hated by all for my name’s sake, not a hair of your head will perish. Through perseverance you will possess your own selves.”
(Daily Gospel in the
Today’s Gospel reading is part of a series of teachings patterned as follows: (I) Introduction (21:5-7); (II) Opening exhortation (21:8-9); (III) Cosmic disasters (21:10-11); (IV) Events that occur before the end of the world such as Christian persecutions (21:12-19) and the destruction of the Temple (21:20-24); (V) cosmic disasters (21:25-33); (VI) Concluding exhortation (21:34-36). The first three were in yesterday’s Gospel reading. We meditate and reflect on Part IV today.
Jesus made it clear that his disciples would have to share in the rejection he experienced. Notice that the pattern of the last paragraph of today’s Gospel reading follows that of Jesus’ Passion. It says, “People will lay their hands on you and persecute you; you will be delivered to the Jewish courts and put in prison, and for my sake you will be brought before kings and governors.” Those who undergo this same pattern intimately suffer with the forsaken Lord. Meanwhile God covers them with his gift of wisdom.
The same gift is available to us when we suffer persecutions. God’s gift of wisdom will guide us step by step till we get out of the persecution spiritually unscathed. Using active-non-violent means to stop the persecution is always in keeping with God’s wisdom. However there are many occasions when active-non-violent means fail to move the persecutor to conversion. The temptation to employ the “Lex Talionis” (Law of retaliation) sets in and things could turn bloody. But those covered by God’s gift of wisdom will not succumb to the temptation. They will use God’s gift of wisdom to bring out the meaning of what they suffer. This results to deeper union with the forsaken Christ. Suffering intimately with him turns our sufferings into a sacred yoke that feels lighter on our shoulders. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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